Hints & Tips Blog

More Tips on becoming a better manager

It’s sometimes tough to be a manager in the business world. You’re slotted in between the workforce and your senior leadership, valiantly translating future strategy and business direction into the clarity of purpose and tasks for your teams to deliver. Not only must you balance the needs of both parties effectively, but you’re also looking to deliver improvement and efficiencies in the process.

To be more effective in your business, it’s critical to get your management team focused. These are some more tips that should help you:

  1. Effective division of labour

Changes may have occurred in the company’s objectives, in the market, or in your team. In these circumstances, you need to determine whether the division of labour in your team is still optimal. Priorities within your team may change, as some members acquire new skills and experience and are thus able to take on more or different tasks. New projects may be on the table or on the horizon. It can therefore be a useful exercise to consider whether your team’s current configuration and workload are still effective. If adjustments can be made that deliver improvements in efficiency – make them.

  1. The ‘aggregation of marginal gains’

This concept was made famous by British cycling coach Dave Brailsford, whose application of the principle was arguably a catalyst in the meteoric success of British cycling in 2012. The principle is to improve every minute detail of the contributory parts of a system by one percent, and that this one per cents will eventually add up to a significant overall improvement.

The principle is equally applicable in business. It’s not easy in an organisation to find one single major change that will transform your performance, however brilliant the leadership. Managers, on the other hand, are close enough to their teams and to the operational procedures of the business to perceive where one percent may be found.

Individually, these small but useful improvements might not make a noticeable difference, but their aggregate gain (or collective impact) can be formidable. Two ways to identify potential improvements include: taking some time to consider why problems occur, rather than just applying a quick fix; and listening to the input and ideas of those who perform routine daily tasks, to find out whether they could be done better.

  1. Setting an example

It’s hard to manage other peoples’ performance legitimately if you don’t deliver on promises yourself. Perhaps you let your timescales slip or your meetings don’t start punctually, or perhaps you change scheduled one-on-one meetings with your team. If this is the example you set, you’re subconsciously sending a message that targets or deadlines are flexible. People look to you as their manager to learn how things ought to be done – it’s your job to ensure they’re learning it correctly.


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